Young Danes champs at melanoma

Sun worship among causes for high cancer rates

About 120 young Danes are diagnosed with malignant melanoma every year, and each year, at least one youngster dies from the condition.

That is twice as high as the melanoma rates found in neighbours Norway and Sweden, according to figures from the Nordic cancer registry NORDCAN.

Too much sun and salon use
There are no studies that explain the high figures, but Lisbet Rosenkrantz Hølmich, a consultant and chairperson at the Danish Melanoma Group, said the explanation is simple: the high incidence of sun worshipping and using tanning salons.

“There is no doubt that the explanation lies in the sun habits of the young,” Hølmich told Metroxpress.

“Danish young people are major sun worshippers and users of tanning beds.”

Denmark more aware of the problem?
However, Jørgen Serup, a professor and dermatologist at Bispebjerg Hospital, felt it was a case of Denmark being more focused on the issue.

“For me it is most likely there is a difference in the reporting in the three countries,” Serup said.

“Perhaps melanoma is not reported as often in Sweden and Norway.”

The numbers game
Hølmich did not accept Serup’s theory.

“The numbers would certainly show up in the statistics of Sweden and Norway if a patient was discovered to have melonoma,” she said.

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The NORDCAN report claims that Danes between 30 and 64 years old were also found to have melanoma more often than Swedes and Norwegians.